ARADA, a Sharjah-based property developer, has selected the UK-based Zaha Hadid Architects to design the Central Hub, the centrepiece of its AED24bn ($6.53bn) Aljada mixed-use project in Sharjah, UAE.
The winning entry has been designed with environmental considerations integrated throughout the masterplan to reduce the consumption of resources.
It conceptualises the first moment a water droplet strikes the earth's surface, captured in an array of elliptical buildings designed to channel prevailing winds into civic spaces and courtyards to facilitate cooling during the summer months.
“The central observation tower is surrounded by vibrant public squares that incorporate water features irrigated by recovered and recycled water, while tensile canopies will sustain a microclimate at ground level for verdant gardens featuring species native to the region,” ARADA said in a statement.
Zaha Hadid Architects head of Middle East region Tariq Khayyat said: "Zaha Hadid Architects is proud to partner with ARADA on a project designed for Sharjah's community and its visitors.
"Applying all our knowledge and experience in creating some of the world's most popular civic spaces, we look forward to working closely with ARADA to deliver the Central Hub; fostering Sharjah's public realm as a truly global city."
The 1.9 million ft2 Central Hub will be a new focus for leisure and entertainment in the UAE.
The initial phase will also include an adventure activity zone, a food truck destination showcasing home-grown brands, outdoor events spaces in addition to ARADA's hi-tech experiential sales centre.
The first phase of the Central Hub will be launched in the last quarter of 2018.
In January, ARADA secured a financing facility worth AED1bn from two UAE lenders to support the development of Aljada. It also awarded the project’s infrastructure design contract to CH2M.
Construction on Aljada will commence in the first quarter of 2018 and the project will be delivered in phases starting in 2019. The overall project is expected to be completed by 2025.